44% fresh produce grown locally
Winning Trader. From the left, Sirrka Ileka (Chairperson of NAB), Christof Brock (CEO of NAB), Hon Anna Shiweda (Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development), Gert van der Linde (Stampriet Farmers Market), and Fidelis Mwazi (AMTA).
Jan Cronjé of Farm Oshivelo in the Oshikoto region was named the best horticultural producer of the year by the Namibian Agronomic Board at its recent 11th Namibian Horticultural Day.
Joining Cronjé as the best local crop growers are Ms Laurentia Nakandanga of the Kavango East Region in the small-scale category and Mr Andreas Ashimbanga of the Omusati Region in the medium-scale category. These three farmers were honoured last week by the Agronomic Board for their achievements to reap above average harvests during a very detrimental season.
In addition to trophies and certificates, they received gift vouchers from the Agronomic Board, the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) and from various agricultural suppliers. Geka Trading Enterprises and Sikondo Green Scheme Irrigation Project received an award for selling the highest volume of fresh produce to the AMTA hub.
The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) hosted the 11th annual Namibian Horticulture Day on Friday, 23 September 2016, to recognise the best horticultural producers and traders for the 2016 season. The event awards and promotes awareness of excellent farming practices among small, medium and large scale producers, as well as traders.
The event was attended by 245 producers, traders, and was hosted on Cronjé’s farm. After the main ceremony, he took everybody on a tour of his farm, explaining his farming techniques to other farmers and showing them how to plan and prepare their lands.
The best traders were identified on the basis of achieving the highest percentage of local produce compared to imports in their size categories. In terms of the Agronomic Board’s Market Share Promotion, which is implemented by AMTA, traders in horticulture fresh produce are required to buy a certain percentage locally, currently set at 44%, before they can qualify for import permits for horticulture products. The Agronomic Board said traders are a vital link in developing the horticultural subsector, as they are a key element in bringing local farmers’ fresh produce to consumers.
The winning traders are Stampriet Farmer’s Market in the Mega Trader category, Okuryangava Fresh Produce in the Very Large Trader vategory, Brenner’s Fruit in the Large Trader category, Trust Market in the Medium Trader category, and Zaheer Traders in the Small Trader category. The AMTA hub Wholesale Agent of the Year was won by Stampriet Farmer’s Market while Iihape Marketing & Promotions is the AMTA Hub Commission Marketing Agent of the Year.
The award ceremony was opened by Honourable Betty Kaula, the Regional Councillor for the Guinas Constituency, and the keynote address was delivered by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, Hon Anna Shiweda on behalf of the minister.
Hon Shiweda stated that local horticultural production and trading has grown to supply 44% of Namibia’s market demand for fresh produce in the formal horticulture market, up from just 5% in 2002. She attributed this to the excellence of producers and traders, under the auspices of the Agronomic Board.
Board Chairperson Ms Sirkka Iileka, emphasised the importance of producer and trader associations, saying that the voices of these associations play a vital role in developing a national policy for horticulture and agriculture.